May 7

Top Accommodations for Gorilla Trekking in Africa

May 7, 2024

Rwanda and the Congo are our two favourite destinations where you can see gorillas in their natural habitat, as well as many other primate species. It's quite simply one of the most exclusive experiences this world has to offer! And when it comes to the top accommodations for gorilla trekking, there are some truly breath-taking options to choose from.

Choosing the top accommodations for gorilla trekking is important to ensure you get the best experience

Choosing the top accommodations for gorilla trekking is important to ensure you get the best experience

Meeting Some of Our Closest Relatives

Gorilla trekking is one of those incredibly humbling experiences few get to experience in their lifetime. With only a couple of thousand gorillas left in the world, the only way to see them is in their natural habitat.

You follow your guide as he slashes open a pathway in the dense forest. All you can hear is the soil crunching underneath your boots, rustling plants, and exotic birds serenading you overhead – all in anticipation of meeting the eyes of one of your closest relatives.

And when you do, it's a deeply profound, almost spiritual experience that will stay freshly imprinted in your memory for years to come. Their very relatable human-like behaviour will leave you spellbound, driving you to both tears and laughter as you watch them interact with one another.

Gorilla Trekking

Observing young gorillas in their natural habitat is a treat like no other

Rwanda or Congo?

When deciding on the best accommodations for gorilla trekking, you first need to determine which country you want to visit. However, it's entirely possible to experience all of them too! 

When you're coming all the way to Africa, we always recommend you combine it with other destinations. It does not have to all be gorilla trekking either, as you can easily add on a Big 5 safari, Great Migration safari, or Indian Ocean island getaway. 

Why Visit Rwanda?

Known as the "Land of a Thousand Hills", Rwanda must be the most accessible gorilla trekking destination in the world. This is due to the capital city's proximity to the legendary Volcanoes National Park and its established gorilla families.. The park is famous for hosting the late Dian Fossey, who studied the behaviour of the endangered mountain gorilla for 18 years, thereby inspiring the film Gorillas in the Mist.

Although Rwanda is best known for its endangered mountain gorilla, you can also see other animals like the Colobus monkey, spotted hyena, black-fronted duiker, elephant, and more here. Birdwatchers will be in heaven as Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to a wide range of bird species. It's also here that you'll get to see the gorilla's cousin, chimpanzee. 

Man on a gorilla trekking adventure in Rwanda

Trek deep into the wilderness in Rwanda for a heart-stirring experience

Where to Stay in Rwanda 

When choosing the best accommodations for gorilla trekking in Rwanda, it all depends on the type of experience you’re looking for.  Here are a couple of our favourites and why you'll love them.

Bisate Lodge  

Bisate Lodge has hosted so many celebrities from across the globe that it's a celebrity in its own right! You will find it nestled between the folds of a dormant volcano in Rwanda and is designed to honour the country's rich heritage, merging culture with opulent sophistication. 

Accommodation consists of exclusive, uniquely constructed Forest Villas, each with breathtaking views of three ancient volcanoes. And with many awards bestowed upon this lodge, you can rest assured that it's one of the best of the best.

Bisate Lodge Exterior in Rwanda

The Opulent Bisate Forest Villas, Image Credit: Wilderness

What Makes Bisate Lodge Special?

  • Close to Volcanoes National Park for gorilla and golden monkey trekking
  • Hikes to Dian Fossey's grave and Karisoke Research Centre 
  • Spectacular views of the volcanic range and landscapes
  • Coffee tastings and guided community walks
  • Nursery visits and tree planting 
Perfect for: 

A romantic getaway.

Interior of Bisate Lodge

Luxury in the Rwanda forest, Image Credit: Wilderness

One&Only Gorilla's Nest 

One&Only Gorilla's Nest is a luxury resort close to Volcanoes National Park, which boasts over 340 mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and 300 bird species. With its treehouse-style accommodation hugged by eucalyptus trees, it offers incredible views that make you feel like Mother Nature embraces you!

Other than gorilla trekking, it's best renowned for its wellness offerings. It has everything from a stand-alone spa to an onsite fitness centre, sauna, cold plunge pool, yoga deck, bike rides, hikes in the forest, and more.

What Makes One&Only Gorilla's Nest Lodge Special?

  • Gorilla and golden monkey trekking
  • Hiking and cycling routes
  • Exploring Musanze and other caves 
  • On-site spa treatments incorporating local roses and coffee
  • Cultural experiences and tours 
Perfect for: 

A wellness retreat.

two men meditating in the forest at One&Only Gorilla's Nest

A wellness retreat in the jungle awaits at One&Only Gorilla's Nest, Image Credit: One&Only 

Singita Kwitonda Lodge

Singita Kwitonda is the closest you can get to the miraculous Volcanoes National Park. With a strong focus on sustainability, family-friendly accommodation, and wellness, it's a tranquil refuge for any adventurous traveller who still wants to enjoy the finer luxuries in life.

Gorilla and golden monkey trekking is the main attraction at Singita Kwitonda. However, the cuisine, premium wine experience, luxury accommodation, cultural experiences, and personalised service keep guests returning for a second, third, and more visit.

Main outdoor deck area with picturesque views of the landscape

Your slice of jungle paradise, Image Credit: Singita

What Makes Singita Kwitonda Lodge Special?

  • The closest lodge to Volcanoes National Park
  • Cultural village tours, hikes and walks 
  • Children activities and childminding offered 
  • Wellness treatments and facilities 
  • Extensive premium wine collection and tastings 

Perfect for

Wellness retreats or family holidays. However, please note that the minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years.

Singita Kwitonda Lodge Bathroom with a view

The perfect place to unwind, Image Credit: Singita

Why Visit Congo? 

Gorilla trekking in Republic of Congo means that you can walk straight into the forest from your lodge, accompanied by an expert guide. Nicknamed "Africa's Amazon", this tropical rainforest with scattered savannah is home to over 400 bird, 16 primate, and 4,400 plant species. So, there's much to see!

Due to its flatter terrain and lower altitude, Congo’s weather is much warmer than Rwanda and Uganda. Furthermore, trekking in Congo is allowed for three consecutive days – an activity limited to only one day in the other countries.  

Woman on gorilla trekking adventure in Congo

The Congo awaits your arrival for the adventure of a lifetime

Where to Stay in Congo 

Odzala-Kokoua National Park is the perfect place to stay for a gorilla trekking expedition. Located in the second-largest rainforest in the world and home to the endangered western lowland gorillas, it's the escape your soul craves. Here's our favourite accommodation for gorilla trekking in Congo.

Ngaga Lodge

Ngaga Lodge offers face-to-face encounters with the rare western lowland gorilla. The lodge is known for its skilled local trekkers who have been guiding guests through the Ndzehe Forest on a well-maintained trail in search of these majestic primates for years now.  

The rooms all have incredible views of the surrounding canopy. A dining room, lounge and bar area  also sit on raised decks overlooking the forest. Basically, you'll be able to enjoy the view from almost anywhere in the lodge! A star deck and fire pit, as well as another deck near the Ngaga Stream, are also available for leisure and viewing.   

Ngaga Lodge in Congo

The breathtaking Ngaga Lodge, Image Credit: Kamba 

What Makes Ngaga Lodge Special?

  • A camp situated within the second-largest rainforest in the world
  • A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trek a family of habituated western lowland gorillas
  • Meet the locals at the nearby Ombo villages
  • Guided day and night walks as well as drives
  • "Botany Bomb" gin and tonics, infused with different elements from the forest
Perfect for:

Romantic getaways and adventure-seekers!

Close-up of a gorilla in Congo at Ngaga Lodge

Gaze into the eyes of these magnificent primates, Image Credit: Kamba

Make Your Gorilla Trekking Dream A Reality 

Gorilla trekking is a truly life-altering experience, and one few people get to experience in their lifetime.

Our Travel Experts have experienced gorilla trekking multiple times, and have the first-hand insights to ensure a memorable holiday. Contact them today to tailor-make your dream gorilla trekking getaway! You'll be so glad you did.

X Rhino Africa Consultants

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About the author 

Tania de Kock

Tania has always been an avid reader, which ultimately led to her life-long dream of becoming a best-selling author. She loves travelling, super spicy food, South African wine, and cats! When she's not reading with a glass of wine, you can find her at the nearest beach or camping, running or hiking in the mountains.

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